Thursday, April 2, 2009

'Creation As The Life Force'

So much has happened since last time I wrote. I'm really starting to feel like the 'Bohemian Cowboy'. Saturday night, we wrapped up L.A. with The First Annual Bukowski Festival, a celebration of poetry, literature, and art. It was a great night of Bukowski and Linda King revelry, and the poetry, literature, and paintings were indeed, abundant. It was a fitting end to a great five month adventure in Los Angeles, and I've been on the road ever since. 

The morning after the 'event', we had to clear out of our West Hollywood apartment, and true to form in the theatre world, we all went our separate ways into 'the good night'. Scott went  to Santa Monica, I,  to Phoenix and then here to Utah, and Kurt to Kansas on his way back to NYC. Needless to say, when you work with people so closely, the 'separation anxiety' is true to form. After such an intense experience, its a little unsettling going back into 'the real world'. I stayed several days in Phoenix with my older brother Gary, (a great host by the way) spent far to little time with family, and then it was back on the road to St George, Utah. I am now officially departed from Phoenix, as I picked up the last of my things from Aunt Linda's house where it was stored. Its difficult to say what I'm feeling, as I've had little time to process except for the thinking I did traveling down the highway. Today, I drove two hours to another storage unit in Panguitch, and two hours back straightaway before the sun went down. Lots to do before I can settle for awhile, but I'll be back in my little trailer under the cottonwood trees before long, it will be good to be back with remnants of civilization at my front door, and the wilderness at my back. 

After I have a few days to relax and settle, it will be back to work playing guitar at the restaurant, and the beginning of the 'grand plan' to take 'the show on the road'. I'll now have to build a set that I can take with me, fitting in the back of the old pickup truck. Although before I left I made all the structural changes on the script, putting in sound effects, acting areas, beat breakdowns, etc., I will make some other changes to the text as well. Although I received some great feedback on the show, there are also parts that were not clear to some, so now goes the detailed 'tweaking'. I've also decided to put in more photographs and some video as well, and so, in short, the process starts all over again. I plan on putting the show up on June 20th, Father's Day, at the same place where I did the original reading. This will give me time to make the changes. I'll do that show with the 'tour' set I'll build, and with the new material, photos, video, and text. It will be more work, but I plan on trying to make a living on this show for at least a year, so I feel sufficiently motivated. 

I left many new friends in Los Angeles, and so many vivid memories and images. I was trying to explain to someone how in life, so often our expectations are dashed into fragments of reality. However, what I've experienced on this project, the opposite occurred. My expectations were all exceeded, and I'm left with bags and bags of gratefulness. While driving, I've tried to understand the difference in this paradox, and although I haven't come to any great conclusions on the matter, I have noticed that when one has nothing to lose, the expectations and result can only go up from there. It is however, an extreme way to live a life, still,  within the fragile line between life and death, there is a poise that one cannot come to any other way but through an action, when the decision arrives that there is no other way to break through to this understanding. I am amazed at the beautiful grace that landed in that profound interface between the two, and am humbled by its beauty. Sometimes, risking all has its reward, but so often, the temptation to cling to what is flesh holds us tight in its grasp, and we are blinded by our fear. Although there have been many times in my life that I have risked my last ten dollars on a can of black paint, this faith has exceeded even that gamble. I cannot speak of what I have discovered without faith, and cannot speak of this discovery without thanking the creator. Whether buddha, christian, muslim, or taoist, tonight I have such a strong sense of this life force, such a strong sense of something that held me up through this most wonderful time.

I  feel tonight as the evangelist, shouting to the congregation, "I have something to tell you! There is something there! For I know within me that I am not capable of exuding this kind of wonderful grace in isolation." In this play, near the end, the cowboy says to the audience, "I know my life has changed forever, for I can never return to my former self, well, it's like and angel, whose always sitting on the edge of my bed when I arrive home..." And the angel says each time, "Go therefore and prepare the way... go therefore and prepare the way..." The wonderful news is that we are all capable of this 'lifting', the only thing stopping us is 'the fear that we will fail', and failure is the only false prophet in this equation... (sorry for the soap box, but tonight I feel the testimony of art, and its maker.) Goodnight! 


Ann said...

I loved this blog on the Creation as The Life Force. It reaches out and touches the artist and the very difficult life an artist tries to live as he puts his art out to the world. It scares us all just to be out there, no matter what we do. Wondering if we will find enough positive outlet to keep the work moving. Most just don't try. It's not worth the hassel or that 'shook up' feeling about ourselves. I am so glad you worked through and did your one man show. I think you did get some great positive feedback. Your 'force' is with us.
Imagine living off your creative effort. It's a miracle when one does.
I do feel bad you came to Panguitch and didn't stop in. I didn't get to LA to see you...
I will still follow your star.

Grace said...

Your presence in my life has been monumental and I always look forward to your next entry.

Your faith is contagious.

LaRena said...

A great inspiring blog. Those Boulder people will be lucky to have you through the good old summertime.

Gerry said...

I pepped up at the very thought of you asking for my play Happy Hello, Sad Goodbye with the idea of doing it in Boulder down the road aways. I found a recently revised copy and will see if I can add anything before sending. I will tell you right now that creativity keeps the blues away. Another resident who was a heavy smoker and drinker had a heart attack and is on life support. There have got to be better things to do! And I think you have found them. I know you are going to have a lot of fun this year even if the play is a little somber. My play is about transition but still has some jokes and fun in it. Mom

DB said...

It seems to me that life is a perpetual risk taking. Every time the tide comes in is a challenge. You are to be noted for taking the risk and achieving the success you did. I have always admire those artists and others who demonstrated how much further one can go, who didn't rest on repetition but who outdid themselves every time. Failure is the risk but it's also the lesson. I always felt that every time I stepped on the stage I was stepping into that between world you mention, between life and death. As gossamer as it is, a perfomrance is a forever thing.

Renee Simms said...

You are so quotable, so literate with nimble lines, truth, and wisdom throughout. Reading this was a great way to start the day. Thanks.